Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The longest day

As penance for our lazy day, the day before, we had to make the trip to Dar es Salaam in one day - some 600km.

This meant getting up at 5 o'clock (again) and packing up to be on the truck shortly after six. We put the smaller children straight on the truck from their tents at the last minute, still in their sleeping bags. The back of the truck was filled from one side to the other with sleeping children for the first hour or so of our journey.

With only brief stops for Greg to make jam sandwiches (which none of us are ever going to eat again) and David to demonstrate his new-found prowess with pineapple, we made it to Dar es Salaam by 4:30. The city is vastly different to the rest of the country - there are people everywhere!

Then, our luck ran out.

It took Greg and Rob 45 minutes to buy the tickets for our ferry to Zanzibar the following day. Greg is no longer allowed to buy tickets - he can't cope with the bureaucracy involved. Hakuna Matata!

We the just needed to cross the river on a little ferry and our campsite would be in sight! But they wouldn't let us on the ferry with our truck, saying that it was too heavy. No amount of cajoling or bribery could convince them otherwise. This left us with a one-and-a-half hour drive around the river.

We arrived, tired and windswept, at Mikadi Beach at seven o'clock in the evening. There was a wedding taking place and we were served the leftovers from their buffet: red snapper, prawns, calamari, roasted vegetables and rice. Soooo nice!

We all went to bed early in the knowledge that we had another early start in the morning, but the heat was so stifling and the tall palm trees rustled so loudly in the wind that none of us got much sleep.

We are sad about leaving our truck in the morning, but more than ready for a little luxury!

By Rob.

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